Calm Dinda helps India A level series
India A 154 for 5 (Rahane 79, Benn 2-23) tied with West Indies A 154 for 4 (Bonner 82, Dinda 1-23). India win the one-over eliminator
The second unofficial Twenty20 international between West Indies A and India A in Port of Spain turned out to be a thriller. The match was a tie, but ultimately it was India who had the last laugh. Ashok Dinda bowled a miserly final over to force a tie, and then conceded just four runs in the one-over eliminator which India easily overhauled to level the two-match series.
India, who had lost the first T20, were asked to bat and their openers responded with a steady start, adding 61 in as many balls before Shikhar Dhawan fell for 33. Rohit Sharma followed soon after but Ajinkya Rahane, who went on to make 79, including two sixes, took the score to 131 with Manoj Tiwary. Sulieman Benn was economical and picked up two wickets; India were kept to 154 for 5.
West Indies' reply was led by Nkrumah Bonner, who smashed 82 off 65 balls with three fours and two sixes. He forged an opening stand of 72 in nine overs with captain Kieran Powell, and West Indies were favourites at that point. Rahul Sharma had a hand in running out Powell, and he then bowled Danza Hyatt with the score on 101. The wicketkeeper Jonathan Carter was out for a duck, facing six balls, but West Indies were still ahead in the final over.
They needed two to win off five balls. Bonner fell on the second ball of the final over, bowled by Dinda, caught by Jalaj Saxena. Dinda held his nerve for the remainder of the over, conceding just one run in the four balls that followed. Jason Mohammed and Christopher Barnwell, who finished on nought off three balls, failed to get their team over the line, the result was a tie and the game was left to be decided by the one-over eliminator.
Dinda again did a splendid job, and it was to win him the Man-of-the-Match award. West Indies managed just four runs in the eliminator, with both Carter and Bonner being run out. India didn't waste the chance, as West Indies had in their chase. Though Rohit fell first ball, Dhawan struck a boundary and the task was accomplished in three legal deliveries - Sulieman Benn didn't help his team's cause by bowling two wides.
The teams will now play three unofficial ODIs, starting June 27.